Belo Horizonte (bəlˌŏrēzôNˈtĭ) [key] [Port., = beautiful horizon], city (1996 pop. 2,091,770), capital of Minas Gerais state, E Brazil. The distribution and processing center of a rich agricultural and mining region, Belo Horizonte is the nucleus of a burgeoning industrial complex; its chief industries are furniture, textiles, food processing, and publishing. Belo Horizonte is also a transportation hub, with direct highway connections with Brasília, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. A small airport is located in Pampulha, a suburb. Belo Horizonte was Brazil's first planned metropolis and was built (1895–97) to replace Ouro Prêto as the state capital. With its wide, tree-lined avenues, skyscrapers, and spacious parks, and with its beautiful surroundings and bracing climate, Belo Horizonte is a fashionable resort. It is also a leading cultural center, with a historical museum, three universities, and numerous libraries and sports stadiums. The Chapel of São Francisco, with paintings by Candido Portinari, is famous.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.